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Nets, Cable Ignore Trump Signing Trade Deal With Japan, Helping Farmers   

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<p>At a White House signing on Monday, President Trump and representatives from Japan signed what the President called “the new U.S.-Japan trade agreement and the U.S.-Japan digital trade agreement.” The non-digital trade agreement included agriculture sales that would aid American farmers. After months of decrying how the President’s trade wars were harmful to farmers, the evening newscasts of ABC, CBS, and NBC completely ignored the signing.</p>

          

It takes 21 litres of water to produce a small chocolate bar. How water-wise is your diet? | Brad Ridoutt   

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There is a big focus on food that produces the most emissions, but the water-scarcity footprint also has a huge environmental impact

Our diets can have a big environmental impact. The greenhouse gas emissions involved in producing and transporting various foods has been well researched, but have you ever thought about the water-scarcity impacts of producing your favourite foods? The answers may surprise you.

In research recently published in the journal Nutrients, we looked at the water scarcity footprints of the diets of 9,341 adult Australians, involving more than 5,000 foods. We measured both the amount of water used to produce a food, and whether water was scarce or abundant at the location it was drawn from.

Related: Can recycled water be the 'next frontier' for towns running out of drinking water?

Brad Ridoutt is a principal research scientist for CSIRO Agriculture at CSIRO

This piece was originally published on the Conversation

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RVHS provides new Our House sign   

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River Valley High School recently took on the project of making The Our House Museum a new sign to replace an old rotting one. This is its 200th Anniversary. Pictured are Angela Petrie, RVHS Art Deptartment, and Matthew Huck, RVHS Vocational Agriculture teacher, and Bev Jeffers, Our House Site Manager. With the coming holiday season, […]

The post RVHS provides new Our House sign appeared first on Gallipolis Daily Tribune.


          

Small farms are struggling—now there’s a crowdfunding platform for that   

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Through Steward, individual investors can put as little as $100 into small, sustainable farms that otherwise have trouble gaining access to government and bank loans.

On Tuesday, October 1, U.S. Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue made a grave statement about the lifespan of the country’s small dairy farms. “In America, the big get bigger and the small go out,” Perdue said after attending the World Dairy Expo in Madison, Wisconsin. This extends to all types of small farming enterprises in the U.S., from fruit and vegetable to grain and livestock, which struggle to make ends meet.

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2019 Manheim Farm Show   

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Date: October 7, 2019

Location: Manheim, PA, Farm Show Complex

Description: The Farm Show will be held on October 7-11, 2019. This show will include baby parade, antique tractor demonstration, gospel concert, rabbit show, bake sale, goat show, sheep show, dairy show, agriculture and domestic displays, live auction, exhibits, livestock, and many more activities. Also, enjoy a great variety of delicious food. Free admission and parking....View more detail »


          

Saskatchewan Ministry of Agriculture Endowed Chair - University of Saskatchewan - Saskatoon, SK   

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Quality publications in peer-reviewed venues or equivalent (e.g., patents, etc.); The University of Saskatchewan values diversity, and Indigenous engagement is…
From University of Saskatchewan - Mon, 24 Jun 2019 18:18:46 GMT - View all Saskatoon, SK jobs

          

Urban Agriculture Advances Sustainability in Cities Like Phoenix   

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A community garden occupies a diminutive dirt lot in Phoenix. Rows of raised garden beds offer up basil, watermelons and corn, making this patch of land an agricultural oasis in a desert city of 1.5 million people. In fact, this little garden is contributing in...

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THIS product has changed my nightly routine!   

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You're reading THIS product has changed my nightly routine!, originally posted on Pick the Brain | Motivation and Self Improvement. If you're enjoying this, please visit our site for more inspirational articles.

Over the past couple of months I have tried a couple of products that
have really impressed me. The latest of which, is Veritas Farms.
Anybody that knows me at all, knows how much I love skin products.
When I was first introduced to Veritas Farms, I was happy to try it
but not necessarily uber excited, because I assumed the use for the moisturizer and salve were really specific, instead of something I would use everyday. However, as luck (or bad luck?) would have it, I ended up pulling a muscle in my shoulder carrying a heavy bag on a long walk, and after a hot shower and a massage didn’t do anything to help, I remembered my new topicals.

I went to bed that night, nervous I wouldn’t catch a wink of sleep,
and woke up 8 hours later fully rested. I was really shocked.When the discomfort began to come back later that next afternoon, I quickly reapplied the salve. Then later that night, i used the moisturizer, more generously on both of my arms. Again, I fell into a deep sleep.

It doesn’t end there. Two obvious benefits had occurred: I was able to get full rest without aches keeping me up and when I woke up the second morning, my skin felt so soft. 

I repeated my experiment for a third night, and had the exact same results.

After having such a great, and unexpected success, I was curious to do
a little more research on the brand and was really happy with what I
found. There are so, so many CBD companies out there just throwing
their products and packaging together, trying to make a quick buck
without really caring about quality or their footprint, but Veritas
Farms
, is part of the sustainable agriculture revolution, in the
Southern Rocky Mountains, protecting the earth as they create the
purest, quality hemp products out there! More than that, on their
website they show a step-by-step process of how each product is
manufactured.

Now I use both the CBD Salve and moisturizer almost every night, or
during the day to help manage physical discomfort. 

I’m so thrilled with Veritas Farms all around, and confident my PTB
readers will have just as great of an experience, I am offering a $50,
$75 and $100 giveaway! Find out more at Veritas Farms, and to enter to win the giveaway simply leave a comment below or tag me on social, saying why you need this product!

You've read THIS product has changed my nightly routine!, originally posted on Pick the Brain | Motivation and Self Improvement. If you've enjoyed this, please visit our site for more inspirational articles.


          

Peabody vet county's only hemp grower   

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Virginia Skinners’ newly cut hemp stalks give off the smell of fresh mint as they hang to dry in an outbuilding in Marion County. The plants shedding their seeds onto blue plastic tarp are the first of their kind to be harvested legally in Kansas in decades and the only hemp crop in Marion County. The longtime Peabody veterinarian is grateful to be the only grower in the county issued one of nearly 200 licenses by the Kansas Department of Agriculture as a part of a highly regulated research project. But she said reviving hemp cultivation is not as easy as it seems. [MORE]

          

Gujarat gaushalas now out of land ceiling Act   

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Gujarat Land Ceiling (Amendment) Bill, 2019, excludes lands being utilised for maintenance of gaushalas from the provisions of the Gujarat Agriculture Land Ceiling Act, 1961.

          

Sunday’s news items [Pumpkins; here’s Lloyd; food serving inspections; fire statistics; & more] – 10/6/2019   

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Dependability! | You can find lists the weekly food inspections for Lancaster County’s food serving establishments at Lancaster Online‘s Website and you can find all the restaurants across the state at the Pennsylvania Department of Agriculture Website. Beginning on January 1, 2020, Columbia’s food-serving establishments will be posted there too; The Borough recently began posting its own conducted surveys at […]

          

PARETO LAW: Sales Manager   

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£0 - £60000 per annum, Benefits: Commission: PARETO LAW: Role: Commodities Manager/ Sales Manager Industry sector: Agriculture Location: Nantwich Salary: Up to £60k basic (depending Nantwich

          

Ahead of expected busy fall wildfire season, fire officials urge caution and offer tips for prevention   

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Joint Press Release
North Carolina Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services
North Carolina Forest Service
USDA Forest Service




Asheville, NC - October 7, 2019 - As we enter the start of the fall wildfire season, the N.C. Forest Service and the USDA Forest Service urge visitors and North Carolinians to be cautious with campfires and when burning yard debris. This reminder coincides with National Fire Prevention Week, which runs Oct. 6-12.

The fall wildfire season typically lasts from mid-October until mid-December, the time of year when people do a lot of yard work that may include burning leaves and yard debris. The leading cause of wildfires in North Carolina is debris burning. When left unattended, debris fires can escape and start wildfires.

"We will not forget the 2016 fall wildfire season that burned more than 59,511 acres across North Carolina," said Agriculture Commissioner Steve Troxler. "As we head into this fall fire season facing similarly dry weather conditions, let's remember that each of us can do our part to avoid to prevent wildfires. It is important to exercise extreme caution while burning debris of any kind."

There are many factors to consider before burning debris. The N.C. Forest Service encourages residents to contact their local county forest ranger before burning debris. The ranger can offer technical advice and explain the best options to help ensure the safety of people, property and the forest. To find contact information for your local county ranger, visit www.ncforestservice.gov/contacts.

For people who choose to burn debris, the N.C. Forest Service offers the following tips to protect property and prevent wildfires:
  • Consider alternatives to burning. Some types of debris, such as leaves, grass and stubble, may be of more value if they are not burned, but used for mulch instead.
  • Check local burning laws. Some communities allow burning only during specified hours. Others forbid it entirely.
  • Make sure you have a valid permit. You can obtain a burn permit at any N.C. Forest Service office or authorized permitting agent, or online at www.ncforestservice.gov/burnpermit.
  • Keep an eye on the weather. Don't burn on dry, windy days.
  • Local fire officials can recommend a safe way to burn debris. Don't pile vegetation on the ground. Instead, place it in a cleared area and contain it in a screened receptacle away from overhead branches and wires.
  • Household trash should be hauled away to a trash or recycling station. It is illegal to burn anything other than yard debris.
  • Be sure you are fully prepared before burning. To control the fire, you will need a hose, bucket, steel rake and a shovel for tossing dirt on the fire. Keep a phone nearby, too.
  • Never use kerosene, gasoline, diesel fuel or other flammable liquids to speed up debris burning.
  • Stay with your fire until it is completely out.
  • Burning agricultural residue and forestland litter: In addition to the rules above, a fire line should be plowed around the area to be burned. Large fields should be separated into small plots for burning one at a time. Before doing any burning in a wooded area, contact your county ranger, who will weigh all factors, explain them and offer technical advice.
The USDA Forest Service also reminds campers to be cautious when burning campfires. Use existing fire rings if possible and clear a safe area around them of at least 15 feet. Never leave campfires unattended, and ensure they are completely out before leaving.

The U.S. Forest Service offers the following guidelines for safely extinguishing campfires and helping to prevent wildfires:
  • Allow the wood to burn completely to ash, if possible.
  • Pour lots of water on the fire, drown ALL embers, not just the red ones.
  • Pour until the hissing sound stops.
  • Stir campfire ashes and embers with a shovel.
  • Scrape the sticks and logs to remove any embers.
  • Stir and make sure everything is wet and that embers are cold to the touch.
  • If you do not have water, use dirt. Pour dirt or sand on the fire, mixing enough dirt or sand with the embers to extinguish the fire.
  • Continue adding or stirring until all remaining material is cool.
  • Do NOT bury the fire as the fire will continue to smolder and could catch roots on fire that will eventually get to the surface and start a wildfire.
Always exercise caution with any outdoor burning. Even when burn bans are not in effect, weather conditions may not be favorable for outdoor fires. Outdoor burning is discouraged during periods of low humidity or high winds.
Studies have shown that taking these and other measures can reduce the possibility of wildfires. To learn more about fire safety and preventing wildfires and loss of property, visit www.ncforestservice.gov and www.smokeythebear.com.



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Their phone number is 371-4718.

They can handle all your tree removal needs in good or bad weather.

Published at 2:50pm on Monday, October 7, 2019






          

   

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Presidential Proclamation
on Fire Prevention Week, 2019

Since 1922, our Nation has observed Fire Prevention Week to promote emergency preparedness and reaffirm our enduring commitment to fire safety. This week, we honor and remember the heroic firefighters and first responders who made the ultimate sacrifice to save and protect our citizens, homes, and communities. We express our gratitude for their service to our country, and we encourage all Americans to do their part to prevent dangerous fires.
In 2017, more than 1.3 million fires killed 3,400 people and injured 14,000 more, while causing an estimated $23 billion in direct property loss. Sadly, the number of fire-related deaths continues to rise, even though the number of fires is falling. All Americans should take the dangers of fires seriously and conduct routine inspections of smoke alarms and plan and practice home fire escapes. Such concerted efforts are crucial to stopping fires and their devastating consequences.

While preventing fires in our homes, we also must take measures to prevent wildfires, such as the catastrophic Woolsey, Camp, and Mendocino Complex wildfires, all of which ravaged communities last year. The Camp fire killed at least 85 people, and the Mendocino Complex wildfire was the largest fire of its kind in California history. Improving the health of America’s forests and rangelands is critical to reducing the frequency and severity of the kind of wildfires that have devastated communities and ecosystems across the Nation. This is why I signed legislation that improves support for the Department of Agriculture and the Department of the Interior’s wildfire suppression operations, as well as the Agriculture Improvement Act of 2018, which includes robust fire risk reduction measures and important forest management provisions. These bills will empower Federal agencies to actively manage our forests and rangelands and aggressively fight wildfires. Further, I issued an Executive Order to promote active management of America’s forests and Federal lands to reduce the risk of catastrophic wildfires in better partnership with State, local, and tribal officials.

This week, I urge all Americans to take special precautions to ensure fire safety in their homes and communities to help prevent fire-related tragedies. By staying vigilant, we can all do our part to protect our loved ones, homes, and communities. We recognize those who take such actions, and we pledge to continue our support for the Nation’s firefighters, first responders, and EMS providers who answer the call to serve and risk their lives to safeguard their fellow Americans and our precious land.

NOW, THEREFORE, I, Donald J. Trump, President of the United States of America, by virtue of the authority vested in me by the Constitution and the laws of the United States, do hereby proclaim October 6 through October 12, 2019, as Fire Prevention Week. On Sunday, October 6, 2019, in accordance with Public Law 107-51, the flag of the United States will be flown at half-staff at all Federal office buildings in honor of the National Fallen Firefighters Memorial Service. I call on all Americans to participate in this observance with appropriate programs and activities and by renewing their efforts to prevent fires and their tragic consequences.

IN WITNESS WHEREOF, I have hereunto set my hand this
fourth day of October, in the year of our Lord two thousand nineteen, and of the Independence of the United States of America the two hundred and forty-fourth.

DONALD J. TRUMP



DAY SPONSOR

Carrion Tree Service is underwriting Macon Media for today. they are a fully licensed and insured tree service, specializing in dangerous tree removal, view clearing, pruning, and crane services with a 24 Hour emergency response.

Their phone number is 371-4718.

They can handle all your tree removal needs in good or bad weather.






          

Not a single presidential candidate plans to attend Florida Democratic convention in Orlando   

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Florida Democrats want to energize the party base and defeat President Donald Trump in 2020, yet for the second time this year the state party will hold a major gathering without presidential candidates taking part.

The Florida Democratic Party has confirmed state Agriculture Commissioner Nikki Fried and U.S. Sen. Chris Coons, D-Del., as keynote speakers Saturday for the “Fight for Florida Gala,” a dinner at the party’s annual convention.

But as of Monday, not a single presidential candidate plans to attend one of the biggest Democratic events and fundraisers in the nation’s largest battleground state.

Instead, candidates late this week will take part in events such as The 20th New Yorker Festival in New York and an LGBTQ town hall in Los Angeles, hosted by CNN and the Human Rights Campaign.

“We tried to make it work, but he had confirmed these things in advance,” Marisol Samoya, a spokeswoman for presidential candidate Pete Buttigieg, told The News Service of Florida on Friday about why the South Bend, Ind., mayor won’t be at the Florida convention.

CNN reported Monday that nine presidential candidates are expected to take part in the Thursday night town hall.…

          

Soil Sampler - Term - Farmers Edge Inc. - Lloydminster, SK   

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Is a global leader in decision agriculture servicing over 24 million paid product acres worldwide with precision digital solutions.
From LocalWorkBC.ca - Sun, 06 Oct 2019 10:42:06 GMT - View all Lloydminster, SK jobs

          

Reconciliation Officer Job at the International Institute of Tropical Agriculture (IITA)   

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The International Institute of Tropical Agriculture (IITA) is a not-for-profit institution that generates agricultural innovations to meet Africa’s most pressing challenges of hunger, malnutrition, poverty, and natural resource degradation. Working with various partners across sub-Saharan Africa, we improve livelihoods, enhance food and nutrition security, increase employment, and preserve natural resource integrity. IITA is a member... Read More

          

Monday Sector Laggards: Agriculture & Farm Products, Waste Management Stocks   

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In trading on Monday, agriculture & farm products shares were relative laggards, down on the day by about 1.4%. Helping drag down the group were shares of S&W Seed (SANW), down about 6.1% and shares of Jefferies Group (JEF) down about 5.7% on the day.

          

Wholesale onion prices fall below Rs 30/kg at Lasalgaon after govt measures   

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The average wholesale price of onion was Rs 26 per kg on Thursday at the Lasalgaon Agriculture Produce Market Committee, while the maximum rate was Rs 30.20 per kg and minimum rate quoted was Rs 15 per kg.

          

Status of marine fish and shellfish stocks in European seas   

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The indicator tracks both the status of commercial fish stocks in European regional seas and the pressure exerted by fisheries on those stocks, as well as the quality of the information available. To that end, the following is reported: the status of marine fish and shellfish stocks based on the current level of exploitation and reproductive capacity; the importance of the (sub-)region, reflected by the total landings (as a proxy of catch) of fish from commercial fisheries in European seas per MSFD (sub-)region; the availability of appropriate information for the status assessment, as reflected by the proportion of those landings covered by quantitative stock assessments (i.e. the proportion providing the required indicators and their reference levels). Status of marine fish and shellfish stocks The MSFD requires GES to be achieved by 2020 (EC, 2008). According to the MSFD (Descriptor 3), three criteria are relevant to determining if a fish or shellfish stock has achieved GES:  (1) it should be exploited sustainably, consistent with high long-term yields; (2) it should have full reproductive capacity, to maintain stock biomass; and (3) a certain proportion of older and larger fish/shellfish should be maintained (or increased), as this is an indicator of a healthy stock. Sustainable exploitation: sustainably exploited stocks are stocks for which F is at or below levels that deliver MSY, i.e. F ≤ F MSY . Thus, a stock is considered to have been assessed against this criterion only if values for F and F MSY  are available, and the stock is considered to have achieved GES only if F ≤ F MSY . Reproductive capacity: in areas assessed by the International Council for the Exploration of the Seas (ICES), the criterion for sustainable reproductive capacity (SSB > SSB MSY ) has been changed, for pragmatic reasons, to SSB > MSY B trigger . SSB is consistently provided as part of ICES stock assessments, i.e. of the North-East Atlantic Ocean and Baltic Sea, but not, for the most part, by assessments of the Scientific, Technical and Economic Committee for Fisheries (STECF), i.e. of the Mediterranean and Black Sea stocks. Similarly to the above, a stock is considered to have been assessed against this criterion if values for SSB and a good proxy for SSB MSY  (i.e. MSY B trigger ) are available, and the stock is considered to have achieved GES only if SSB > SSB MSY  (or an appropriate proxy). Healthy age and size structure: in this case, the assumption is that a stock with sufficient numbers of old and large fish is healthy. However, this criterion is not sufficiently developed and no threshold for GES is known for this criterion. Therefore, it is not included. This has resulted in four assessment categories: not assessed: no sufficient information available to assess status; F: status assessed based only on F and F MSY; SSB: status assessed based only on SSB and SSB MSY  (or some proxy, i.e. MSY B trigger ); F and SSB: status assessed based on both F and SSB.   Because of ongoing discussions about the criteria integration rules for descriptor 3, the stocks are classified as: assessed stocks for which adequate information is available to determine GES based on F and SSB; assessed stocks for which insufficient information is available to determine GES based on F or SSB; assessed stocks for which insufficient information is available to determine GES according to both reference points F and SSB.   For those stocks for which adequate information is available to determine GES based on fishing mortality (F) and/or reproductive capacity (SSB), a second distinction is made between (1) stocks in good status based on both fishing mortality and reproductive capacity; (2) stocks in good status based on only one criteria (either because one of the two criteria is in good status or data are available for only one criteria and it is in good status); and (3) stocks not in good status (either because one of the two criteria is not in good status or data are available for only one criteria and it is not in good status). Total landings Landings information for the North-East Atlantic and the Baltic Sea is based on the ICES  official nominal catches, 2006-2017 data set . Fisheries nominal catch statistics are reported annually by national offices. In cooperation with Eurostat and the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO), the ICES prepares and publishes the official nominal catch statistics data set for the North-East Atlantic (FAO major fishing area 27). Landings information for the Mediterranean Sea and the Black Sea is based on the FAO's capture production data set. For the Mediterranean and Black Seas, the figures are based on 2016 landings data. Only some of the species/taxa in the landings data can be considered 'commercial fish', which, for assessment purposes, may consist of several stocks. Only some of these stocks are covered by quantitative stock assessments such that their status can be assessed based on the above criteria. Stocks In the North-East Atlantic area, stocks are generally defined based on biological criteria and knowledge of population migration, mixing and spawning areas. For example, cod in the North-East Atlantic is currently considered to form 16 different stocks, between which mixing is generally negligible. These stocks are found over multiple MSFD ecoregions, and some individual stock distributions cover more than one ecoregion. However, in this analysis each stock has been assigned to a single ecoregion (see Methodology). In the Mediterranean and Black Seas, on the other hand, stocks are mostly defined by management area because of a lack of biological knowledge. Because these stocks are based on a specific geographical area, most can be attributed to a specific MSFD (sub-)region.

          

Doorstop - Burnie Show, Tasmania   

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GAVIN PEARCE MP, MEMBER FOR BRADDON: Well g'day everyone and welcome to the northwest. Welcome to Burnie. And I trust we're all here to report on a great agricultural show, the 100th show here in the northwest coast in Burnie. I'm joined here by of course the Prime Minister, We thank the Prime Minister for taking the time out to visit Tasmania once again. Our Premier Will Hodgman, the State Agricultural Minister and indeed our Federal Agriculture Minister in Bridget McKenzie. We're also joined by Senator Richard Colbeck. Ladies and gentlemen of the press, please if today we could promote this as best we can. I think it's important for our region and for our people that have worked so hard. I'll hand over to the PM.

PRIME MINISTER: Thanks Gav, well it's great to be here for the hundredth Burnie show and as I just said as the show was opened, this is a wonderful testimony to the ongoing vibrancy of agricultural and regional and rural communities all around the country. We know that around our country at the moment there are just so many rural and regional communities that are hurting and you don't need just to be in drought to be hurting. And there are communities that have been affected by floods up there in North Queensland in large sprawling grazing districts. And you know these are the challenges that exist in the modern day competitiveness of the agricultural sector. But here in Tasmania we have a sector that is doing famously well supported by great trade agreements. That is ensuring that the produce of Tasmania is finding its way into markets like never before around the world and prices to support it. And as we walk around this Show here today and we talk to people in the community I've always been encouraged particularly here in north western, northern Tasmania by the optimism, by the vibrancy, by the confidence and that's the product of you know we're seeing the unemployment rate here fall from 9 per cent to 6.2 per cent. We're seeing jobs created. We're seeing jobs created in the agricultural sector. There are the great projects that are being pursued together with the State Government and Will Hodgman and the team whether it's battery of the nation, or the many other projects we're doing which are going to have a big impact here in north west Tasmania and in northern Tasmania.

But today we're celebrating agricultural shows. Agricultural shows are a great opportunity for communities to come together. And to celebrate their achievements and basically show what they can do. And to come together as communities to celebrate those achievements and we're announcing today the commencement of the 20 million dollar program which is going in to support agricultural shows all around the country. I'm going to ask the Agriculture Minister Bridget McKenzie to talk a bit more about that. But it's just another part of the way we're trying to support agricultural communities. And in those communities that are doing it really tough, they're great opportunities for them to come together and support each other. I've seen that firsthand as I've visited some of those shows in drought affected parts of the country. It is an opportunity for farmers and agricultural communities to support each other and to get alongside each other and to encourage each other. Today, the Drought Minister has announced a further 13, just over $13 million in support for on farm water infrastructure that is in addition to what we announced last Friday which is the hundred million dollars particularly around financial assistance both to households and into rural communities whether through St Vinnies or the Salvos and other programs that are putting money directly into communities but also putting money into the pockets of farming households with much more relaxed and more flexible arrangements so they can get that assistance.

The drought is the first call on the budget. It's our first priority in addressing those immediate fiscal needs but longer term it's also about investing in the necessary water infrastructure. It's not just dams, it's pipes, it's irrigation systems. It's ensuring that we're putting the plumbing in place. We can't make it rain but we can ensure that we're building for the future and we're providing the financial assistance to support those communities to be able to make their way through these very drought-affected times. So with that Bridg, come and tell us more about our investment in the Shows.

SENATOR THE HON BRIDGET MCKENZIE, MINISTER FOR AGRICULTURE: Thanks PM, look it's fantastic to be on the North-West Coast of one of those turnaround states where agriculture is just going gangbusters. And it's here in Tasmania. Very, very proud to be part of a government that is seeking to bridge the gap between urban Australians and those of us who live out in the regions and work in the regions and work in agriculture. And agricultural shows are a key part of our task to do that. So we have small shows, we have large shows. This program will mean that you can apply for up to half a million dollars, to not just upgrade your grandstands and build critical infrastructure but to purchase those sort of the movable infrastructure that might make your show much more attractive to get not just the locals along but the people down the road, the people from Hobart, and the people from Melbourne to get out into the region and to see the great horse events, the fantastic cattle and sheep that we've got but also so many of our agricultural shows are the place where you can grow the largest pumpkin, if you're really good- If you've got a great vegie patch your local show is where you can get due recognition, if you make the best jelly slice in town, well it's your local agricultural show where you'll be able to put that on show and get the due recognition.

So by backing our agricultural shows across the country, we're backing vibrant sustainable regions and regional communities who are proud of who they are, proud of where they come from, and very proud of what they do. We will stand with our regional communities particularly in this tough time of drought. And their agricultural show is often one event in the season where they can get off farm, meet with the community, have a look at what everyone else is doing, celebrate what they do and enjoy each other's company and get together. So I'm very proud to be part of a government that's backing agricultural shows right across the country.

ROB WILSON, CHAIR AGRICULTURAL SHOWS AUSTRALIA: Good afternoon everyone, I'm Rob Wilson I chair Agricultural Shows of Australia which is the peak body for that all the 580 shows that operate every year in Australia. And we were talking about, the Minister and the Prime Minister talking about communities, and that's true. They are the lifeblood of communities everywhere. We use around 30,000 volunteers that run shows every year and we provide actually an economic impact to the community of close to a billion dollars now. And it is the resilience of farmers that has seen the resilience of agricultural shows not only here in Burnie but nearby, Campbelltown has had its 150th year, every year there's a handful of shows that are now reaching their hundred years but also there's new societies popping up around the country as well. And that's a testimony to the communities and the people and the $20 million which will go for not only the infrastructure but as the minister said for other sustainable activities reflecting the community, looking at education, looking at technology, looking at digital platforms that we can use now to keep that resilience going. And we now hope for another hundred and fifty years, ag societies will be viable right around Australia.

THE HON WILL HODGMAN MP, PREMIER OF TASMANIA: I'm delighted to be here today at the Burnie show with so many of my parliamentary colleagues and so many members of this community. The Burnie show 2019 is like so much of what Tasmania is about now. Bigger, better, stronger, more people involved. It's the place to be and we're delighted to see such a great community effort to restore life into a show that like many across our state has had difficult periods. As a state government we've invested more into supporting our regional shows because they are the lifeblood of communities right across the state and we'll continue to do so. And similarly the announcement by the Commonwealth Government today it shows once again that we're working in sync to deliver positive things for our communities while other political parties worry about things that don't matter to Tasmanians we are very much working together to keep our economy strong, to invest in services that Tasmanians need to keep this state powering ahead as it is and with more opportunities than ever before. So I want to thank again the Prime Minister for being back in Tasmania and to just highlight the strong collaboration we have whether it be supporting our agricultural sector which is grown by about 10 per cent in the last year alone and that's largely driven through the policies of not only the Commonwealth government and mine but also through the strength and resilience of a more confident farming community. In fact the most confident in the country. So, wonderful to have so many people with us today in what is the turnaround state in the nation.

PRIME MINISTER: Very true. Now questions on this matter and then we can go to questions on other matters and we'll excuse some of our guests.

JOURNALIST: Quick one for Rob?

PREMIER: You do Rob, and then we'll, we won't run away.

JOURNALIST: Nationally, how tough have times been for some of these regional shows?

WILSON: It varies around the country and some shows that have had some difficulty and perhaps go into, take a year off, but more often than not they're back again they get a strong committee around them. We have a very very strong next gen group right around Australia. Every state now has next gen groups and we have our rural ambassador programs and our younger judges and paraders and we're educating and encouraging young people to come up, and they're now taking roles on committees. We've got very young people now, president of show societies and taking an active role along with our volunteers, the people who do a sterling job in all the shows that have been there for a very long time. So it's now a good mix of the experience but certainly the next gen becoming involved. So sure in some areas it's tough but the show mostly goes on.

PRIME MINISTER: Any other questions on the matter of the announcement today? This is the first time I've done a press conference to the sounds of country music. I might make it a normal practice.

JOURNALIST: On native animals, how, are there better ways to protect native animals in the wake of the attack on the wombat in South Australia?

PRIME MINISTER: Well that is something that is predominantly the domain of the State Government in terms of those types of, Will might want to comment on that. And obviously the Commonwealth has a range of legislation which relates to the native species and so on. And so. We'll continue to support those types of initiatives. But is there anything you want to add to that Will?

PRIME MINISTER: Could we ask some questions of you first Prime Minister? What's your response to charges laid against CommInsure?

PRIME MINISTER: Well as we are moving on to other areas I don't want to sort of detain Rob [inaudible].

That's obviously a very serious issue and it's a product of the process doing its job and where financial institutions do the wrong thing, well that's the reason we have prosecutors, that's the reason why we have regulators and that's the sort of thing they should be doing and they should be pursuing those and that should find its way through the normal process through the courts.

JOURNALIST: Could you define negative globalism for us Prime Minister?

PRIME MINISTER: Well any time frankly that global organisations think that they have a greater mandate over a country than the country themselves. I mean I answer to no higher authority than the people of Australia. I don't answer to international institutions or global organisations, and our interests and our policies will be set in Australia by Australians and by the will of the Australian people. Australia has an exemplary record when it comes to our international participation in constructive programs, everything from peacekeeping, to aid support, to our engagement in multilateral forums. That's all positive. But Australia's interests will determine our involvement and we won't be copping from any global organisation or institution any instructions or directions that are at odds with our national interest and with any presumption that somehow some global agenda is bigger than Australia.

JOURNALIST: Could you give us an example where an unaccountable internationalist bureaucracy has sought to coerce Australia or to impose a mandate?

PRIME MINISTER: Australia's policies, whether it's on border protection or anywhere else have been set by Australians, in our interests. And there's plenty of commentary about what Australia should and shouldn't do on these and other issues. I'm just simply making the point that under my Government, our policies will be accountable to Australians first and only.

JOURNALIST: There must be threats for you to make a point?

PRIME MINISTER: Well I have observed now over many years as a Minister and as a Prime Minister that growing global agendas need to frankly recognise at the end of the day that it's nation states who are sovereign. And it's nation states that will set their rules, their policies, and they'll do that- particularly in democracies like Australia which is subject to the ballot box and the rule of law. So I don't have an issue, I'm engaged in many multilateral institutions but the ones I find most constructive are the ones that represent respect the sovereignty of each individual state and we've taken issues to an election, we've taking policies to an election. Well they're the policies I'll implement I won't be pushed into other policies by global institutions.

JOURNALIST: Could you give us an example though?

PRIME MINISTER: I think I've covered the issue.

JOURNALIST: You've had members of your party talk about moving more federal public service jobs to regional areas. But the numbers in Tasmania have actually been declining. Was this just an empty promise on regional jobs?

PRIME MINISTER: Well what I think is great is the unemployment rate here in Braddon has fallen from 9 per cent to 6.2 per cent. I'm interested in jobs, in north western Tasmania, in northern Tasmania, and right across Tasmania. I want to see jobs, see I disagree with the Labor Party. I don't think the way to create jobs is just to employ more public servants. I think the way to create jobs is to have a successful agricultural sector, a successful forestry sector, a successful mining sector. But the Labor Party seems to want to apologise for all of those industries, not us. We support all of those industries proudly. These are Australian jobs that are being created here in Tasmania by these great private sector efforts. You know, you want to create jobs. You've got to have a vibrant private economy. And that's always been the focus of our attention.

JOURNALIST: [inaudible] accountable internationalist bureaucracies?

PRIME MINISTER: I think we covered that one off.

JOURNALIST: Lachlan's question was about moving public service jobs to Tasmania, not creating them?

PRIME MINISTER: And we'll  continue to look at those opportunities, we have a Minister for decentralisation and he's taken on that job since the election. He will bring forward proposals to cabinet where he thinks it's in the best interests of the running of those organisations and where we can spread those benefits we will.

JOURNALIST: [inaudible] Major General Day’s report on the drought public?

PRIME MINISTER: I couldn't hear the start of the question?

JOURNALIST: Will you make a Major General Day's report public?

PRIME MINISTER: We'll be responding formally to that report quite soon. And it has obviously played a key role in informing a lot of the drought response that we've already made. I mean Major General Day reported to Cabinet some time ago as did the drought envoy, as well, prior to the last election and so all of that information, all of that considerable work that was done has been feeding into the constant drought response that we've been making. I mean that's the nature of responding to this drought. There's just not one report and one response and that's it, set and forget. That's not the way you deal with this. And in some areas this drought has been going on for seven years. And so you need a constant, a constant response and that needs to be continually informed. That's why the Treasurer has been out in drought affected areas just this week. That's why I was out there last week. That's why all of my ministers are out there and listening to the issues that are on the ground and responding. $100 million last week, $13.2 million today. We will continue to respond for as long as the drought circumstances demand it.

JOURNALIST: Have you read the drought coordinator's report?

PRIME MINISTER: Of course I have.

JOURNALIST: How come the Treasurer hasn't?

PRIME MINISTER: It's going through Cabinet and he was certainly there when the drought coordinator reported to Cabinet. It's going through a Cabinet process as we speak and he's part of that Cabinet process.

JOURNALIST: At tomorrow's state liberal Council, they're going to put up a motion that the federal government call on China to respect the rule of law, democracy, and civil liberties of Hong Kong. Do you think it's up to the state to try and direct foreign policy?

PRIME MINISTER: Well I think the motion is an expression, I think, of the concern of Australians and Tasmanians in particular about the events that we're seeing unfold in Hong Kong. The Australian Government and I, and the Foreign Minister have similarly expressed our concern about those events. But our response has been one to counsel restraint and respect for the one country, two systems arrangement, and for that to be honoured, and we'll continue to follow that path as a Commonwealth Government. I mean, in the Liberal Party members put up motions, the parliamentary parties are the ones that set policies. That's what's different between us and the Labor Party, in the Labor Party they're bound by these things and in the Liberal party that's not how our party runs, it was never set up that way. But it is an important sentiment to acknowledge, that there are real concerns about this. And I think those concerns are felt right across the country, but how we manage them and how we respond to them, we do carefully and we do constructively.

JOURNALIST: On Alexander Downer, what do you say to US Republicans including supporters of Donald Trump who say that Alexander Downer is part of an international conspiracy?

PRIME MINISTER: Well I think it's laughable. And the Ambassador has communicated that in the United States already, so I'd refer you to his comments and I endorse them.

JOURNALIST: There's another motion in the Liberal conference calling for Tony Abbott to be appointed the ambassador to the Holy See would you support that?

PRIME MINISTER: We'll make those judgements. But I can tell you that Mr Abbott has no interest in serving in that role. So that would mean that the recommendation would be quite moot.

JOURNALIST: The Burnie Show is a far cry from the UN, how do you rank the two?

PRIME MINISTER: Well I'd rather be at the Burnie Show. Every day of the week. And I'd rather be in Australia every day of the week too.

QUESTION: Scott, can I ask an ordinary question, to do with this drought, and I have followed it. There was one farmer, on the news probably last year some time. And he had dug three pits and stored feed in those pits, so for three years he managed to keep himself going. Now is his expertise on that being looked at, asked about to help other farmers because, with a lot of the feed being brought in, yes that's all very well because it's given out when it's eaten, but if it's stored it means every farmer will have that possibility of storage? 

PRIME MINISTER: Yeah, now thank you for the question. This was one of the key issues that came up in the national drought summit we held about this time last year. And that's why one of our immediate responses after last year's drought summit was to increase the incentives that we had and through the tax system to encourage the development of those silage capabilities and capacities. You're absolutely right. While you've got to deal in response to the drought to the immediate needs which are basically financial, then the issues going down the track, opportunities to develop on farm water infrastructure, broader water infrastructure and not just dams and pipelines, and other forms of irrigation infrastructure but it's also silage.

QUESTION: Is that farmer being involved?

PRIME MINISTER: I can only assume there's been some input, I couldn't- not knowing specifically the chap.

QUESTION: Well there should be because he's been there and he's doing it.

PRIME MINISTER: This is where we're getting our information from. I get them from farmers.

QUESTION: Just look him up, because he's the only one who's done it.

PRIME MINISTER: Well there are a lot of farmers who invested in silage. It's not true to say there's only been one. There's been many of them and many of them have been taking up that incentive that we put in place a year ago to plan for future, because the one thing that I'm always impressed with by our farming community particularly those impacted by drought Is they’re planning for when it rains. They have not resigned themselves to any other circumstance of it not raining, and they have hope for the future and it's important that we continue to give them that hope. Now many farmers during the course of the drought will make decisions about whether they choose to stay on the land or not. And that's a difficult, and it's a hard decision for them to make. And we have to support them in that decision. That's why last week one of the things we announced was further financial assistance for farmers who were looking to change their skills base and get trained in different areas and to enable them to earn more off-farm income to support them to stay on the land. So we have a very comprehensive and deep and wide drought response. It was born out of the national drought summit about this time last year. That is our drought strategy which we continue to implement. But it is an ever receding finishing post. We never stop. We will keep responding and we will keep listening. Thank you very much for your question.

JOURNALIST: On private health insurance. The private health care lobby is pushing for tax breaks for employers to pay for the private health insurance for workers. Would the government consider that type of plan?

PRIME MINISTER: Well we're very keen to ensure that we arrest, particularly amongst younger people, the take up of private health insurance having fallen in recent times. I wouldn't say those falls are dramatic, but they have receded and that is a concern. That's why in the past our side of politics when we've been in government have been the ones that put in place the incentives for people to hold private health insurance. When Labor was in power they were stripping those away because they couldn't fund their Budget and they just attacked private health insurance. And I didn't think that was a very far sighted view. So we will seek to ensure that the right incentives are in place. We'll be considering all the options that are available as we proceed in to next year's budget and to ensure that we can maintain a great private health insurance system in this country. I think it's one of the great features of our health system that it is a hybrid of both the public and the private systems. We don't rely all on one, like they do in the United States essentially in the private sphere, or all on the public sphere, as we see in the UK and places like that. Australia's health system is quite unique. It is very effective. And it is the envy of the world pretty much in the way it is structured. That doesn't mean it's perfect, it doesn't mean there's not more we have to do as Will and I often discuss, and premiers discuss all the time, at leader-level about what we have to do in health, but we want to make sure that our hybrid private public system remains vibrant and so we will always listen to suggestions but we've got to make those decisions consistent with the budget rules and your priorities. But that's why you have a strong economy by the way. If you don't have a strong economy you don't have a strong budget. If you don't have a strong budget you can't invest in hospitals and schools or in rural agricultural shows. And that's why having a strong economy, driven by vibrant industries like agriculture is so critical to the services that Australians rely on, so it's been great great to see you. I'm going to go enjoy the show. Cheers.


          

   

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Stop this foolish war on meat! Eating it could help save the planet

Last night, I ate a steak. Very good it was too. A plump, exquisitely marbled slab of sirloin, beautifully seasoned and cooked blushing pink. It had come from Martin Player, a proper Cardiff butcher, who takes his meat, as well as the animal’s welfare, very seriously indeed. Just like any other decent butcher.

Grass-fed, fully traceable and properly hung, it was a paean to not just fine flavour, but first- class farming practice too. Sensible, sustainable agriculture, where the welfare of the animal is every bit as important as its impact upon the environment.

Yet this magnificent piece of beef is no longer mere dinner. Instead it has become a pawn in the gathering war on meat: a hysterical, ill-informed, one-size-fits-all assault that demonises farmers, butchers and consumers alike. A weapon, if you like, of grass destruction.

Take the decision made by the University of Cambridge catering service to remove beef and lamb from its menus to cut food-related carbon emissions. The head of the service, Nick White, claimed this was because ‘sustainability is extremely important to our students and staff’ and scientists have claimed beef and lamb produce most farm greenhouse gasses.

A few weeks back, beef was also banned from the cafeteria of Goldsmiths College in London for the same reason, to ‘drastically’ cut its carbon footprint.

But the concerns are not only environmental. I have little time for witless attacks on vegans or vegetarians but there is undoubtedly a creeping spread of anti-meat militancy. This week it emerged the vice-chairman of the RSPCA – a vegan and co-founder of Animal Rebellion, an offshoot of the Extinction Rebellion environmental movement – was forced to step down after calling on animal rights protesters to shut down Smithfield meat market in London.

Jane Tredgett, 52, was in charge of training activists in ‘non-violent direct action’, while the group has compared its efforts to the struggles faced by Martin Luther King and the Suffragettes. Seriously.

Each week seems to bring a new threat or outrage, with meat-eaters being turned into social pariahs. Michael Mansfield, QC, a man who should know better, last week suggested that eating meat should be made illegal, with offenders thrown into jail. And he’s not alone in his extreme (and publicity-seeking) views.

Christiana Figueres, former Executive Secretary of the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change, declared that meat-eaters should be treated like smokers and be made to sit outside restaurants. Because meat is ‘bad for the planet and our health’.

What next? Could meat become illegal, butchers forced to deal black pudding and chipolatas in back alleys and pub loos? Custodial sentences for eating chops? Life for a leg of lamb? Should we be eating meat at all?

The arguments against meat are so widespread, it’s no wonder they seem overwhelming. The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change has declared that we must drastically cut our meat consumption to save the planet. We must shift towards ‘healthy and sustainable’ diets ‘based on coarse grains, pulses and vegetables, and nuts and seeds’. The EAT-Lancet Commission, set up to look at how the world’s growing population can eat healthy, sustainable food, goes further still. Over three years, 37 scientists came up with the ultimate ‘plant-focused’ diet ‘for planetary health’. They argue this diet, which contains virtually no meat, would ‘transform’ the planet’s future. Under it we’re ‘allowed’ no more than one serving of red meat, a couple of servings of fish and an egg or two. Per week.

It’s an argument that meat is bad, plants are good. But not everything is quite so black and white. Far from it.

Many of the militants’ reasons for ditching meat are, in fact, completely misleading. Because properly farmed meat is not only entirely sustainable, but good for the environment and economy too. We should be celebrating good farming practice, not condemning it. There’s no doubt that there are some completely legitimate concerns about food production. Not all chickens, for example, are raised equally. On the one hand, you have an old-fashioned free-range chicken, allowed to scratch and peck outside. Slow growing, traditional breeds, bred for flavour. On the other, the wretched intensively farmed bird, which is crammed into vast, stinking sheds, with no more space than an A4 sheet of paper. Profit, not welfare, is its producer’s only concern.

The same goes for intensively farmed pigs, raised in cruelly confined squalor. We should be saving our ire and ammunition to rail against this factory farming. The long-term cost of intensively farmed meat is ruinously expensive, both for our health and for the environment. It follows, then, that the best quality meat will always be more expensive than the cheap, imported stuff. British farming standards are among the highest in the world, yet another reason to buy British meat.

And it’s important to recognise that, despite all the hand-wringing about carbon emissions, livestock production can actually be good for the environment.

Grassland absorbs carbon dioxide, reducing the amount of carbon that is released into the atmosphere. Two-thirds of the UK is still made up of grassland, and it is essential it remains that way to preserve the carbon in the soil. At the moment, traditional grass-fed cattle and sheep, kept at a low density, are helping to maintain that status quo. But if we reduce the demand for these animals in the food chain, then this delicate balance is bound to change.

We’re also reminded frequently about all the methane produced by cows and other ruminants. So doesn’t that damage the environment? There’s an immense difference between the emissions of the grain-fed cattle in American super lots and sustainably farmed, grass-fed British cattle. Patrick Holden, CEO of The Sustainable Food Trust, explains: ‘The methane emissions from those ruminants are offset by the carbon gain in the soil.’

He also points out that, to be useful for agriculture, arable land must go through a ‘fertility building phase’ lasting three or four years which involves it – by necessity – being grazed with animals such as cows and sheep. Lose those animals, the message is, and we lose that ability to keep our farmland versatile and healthy.

Also – and more controversially – does that mean you should eat MORE beef to save the planet?

‘Yes!’ comes the emphatic response from Holden. ‘Traditional grass-fed beef and lamb can help maintain the soil carbon bank.’

For years, I’ve believed the mantra of eat less meat, but eat better. It’s certainly a good starting point. There have already been huge changes to our diets in the past 100 years. At the start of the 20th Century, Holden points out, 80 per cent of our dietary fats came from animal sources, and only 20 per cent from plants. Today, it’s the other way around.

The surprising – and often overlooked – fact is this: the production of many of those plant fats can be just as environmentally unsound as those vast US intensive farming lots. According to Frédéric Leroy, a professor in food science and biotechnology at the VUB university in Brussels, a shift from animal products to ‘plant-based’ scenarios could make things worse.

They may have vast implications that will generate their own sets of serious concerns, including limiting the land’s ability to grow more than one crop, depleting top soil, using more fertilisers, the potential for nutritional deficiencies and the disturbance of ecosystems,’ Prof Leroy argues.

As far as methane emissions are concerned, he continues, they are real but need to be put in perspective. ‘If a Westerner goes vegetarian or vegan, this leads to only about a two to six per cent drop in their carbon footprint, which is far from being the best thing one can do for the planet.’

There are other, far more effective, ways to reduce carbon emissions – by reducing our reliance on air travel, for example.

Farmer and butcher Peter Hannan agrees. ‘Compared to our appetite for air travel alone, my beef farming pales into insignificance.’

What about the rest of us, then; the responsible meat lovers, caught in the scientific and moral crossfire? Is it really necessary for vegan activists to spray fake blood around McDonald’s? Or harangue and bully butchers and farmers – even Waitrose – in real life and on social media?

Of course not. Whatever happened to decency, common sense, and the ability to listen to both sides of a debate? It is possible to eat meat and have the utmost respect for vegans and vegetarians too. In fact, a couple of meat-free days a week is eminently sensible. So buy British, and the best you can afford. Trust in your butcher. And experiment with more unusual cuts too. Eat good meat and save the planet. Now THAT really is a radical idea.

 SOURCE 






California shocked to find bill decriminalizing retail theft resulted in… more retail theft

This is typical Leftist refusal to look ahead

A few years ago, California passed one in a series of bills aimed at emptying the jails and prisons. Proposition 47 carried the disingenuous name of “the Safe Neighborhoods and Schools Act and its stated purpose was to keep non-violent offenders out of jail. To achieve this goal, the state decriminalized a number of lesser offenses, including retail theft. The law raised the value of the amount of merchandise someone could steal while still only being charged with a misdemeanor to nearly one thousand dollars.

To the great surprise of the government, people noticed this change and began taking advantage of it. They have now recorded multiple years of steadily increasing, organized robbery. These plots are known as “mass grab and dash” thefts and they generally involve large numbers of young people all entering a store at the same time, grabbing armfuls of merchandise and dashing back out to their vehicles and hitting the highway. Not only are robberies on the rise, but arrests and prosecutions are down. Who could possibly have predicted this? (CBS Sacramento)

After searching police reports and arrest records, CBS13 found that while the rate of these grab and dash crimes is on the rise, the rate of arrest is down. We turned to law enforcement and the retail industry for answers. Both blame a California law intended to make “neighborhoods safe.”

“It’s a boldness like we’re seeing never before and just a disregard for fellow human beings,” said Lieutenant Mark Donaldson, Vacaville PD.

He explained these crimes have evolved into more than just shoplifting. It’s organized retail theft and he says it’s happening across the state. Cities like Vacaville, with outlets and shopping centers located near major freeways, tend to be a target for these organized retail crime rings.

Nobody is seriously contesting the numbers. The local and state police organizations blame prop 47. FBI crime data supports the contention. Retail sales organizations have tracked this trend and agree.

This is a trend that’s been building in a number of blue states and now it seems that the petty crime chickens are coming home to roost. The fact is that there are always going to be a certain number of people who will be willing to break the law if they don’t feel the risk of significant punishment is too high. An understanding of this fundamental principle is why the “broken windows” policies enacted in New York City and other municipalities in the 90s were so effective. If you crack down on even smaller crimes, you lower crime rates overall.

Sadly, liberal elected officials paint a picture of racism and inequity behind effective law enforcement initiatives. The people committing these thefts frequently end up being young black and Hispanic robbers because they are more likely to come from economically disadvantaged backgrounds. This leads to laws like prop 47 hoping to keep more of them out of the “school to prison pipeline.”

But when you make it easier and less risky to steal larger amounts of goods, people will steal more merchandise. Did it really take a rocket scientist to figure this out? California basically incentivized crime and potential criminals answered the call. And since many of them were only getting the equivalent of a parking ticket for stealing 900 dollars worth of goods, police frequently didn’t expend much energy trying to catch them.

The ball’s in your court, California. Do you plan on doing something about this? Or will you essentially just legalize theft and tell the retailers that they’re on their own?

SOURCE 






Once Again, Progressive Anti-Christian Bigotry Carries a Steep Legal Cost

Masterpiece Cakeshop continues to pay religious-liberty dividends.
Last summer, in the days after the Supreme Court decided Masterpiece Cakeshop on the narrow grounds that Colorado had violated Jack Phillips’s religious-liberty rights by specifically disparaging his religious beliefs, a bit of a skirmish broke out among conservative lawyers. How important was the ruling? Did it have any lasting precedential effect?

For those who don’t recall, the Supreme Court ruled for Phillips in large part because a commissioner of the Colorado Civil Rights Commission called Phillips’s claim that he enjoyed a religious-freedom right not to be forced to design a custom cake for a gay wedding a “despicable piece of rhetoric.” The commissioner also denigrated religious-liberty arguments as being used to justify slavery and the Holocaust.

While all agreed that it would have been preferable had the court simply ruled that creative professionals could not be required to produce art that conflicted with their sincerely held beliefs, the question was whether Justice Anthony Kennedy’s strong condemnation of anti-religious bigotry would resonate beyond the specific facts of the case. For example, what would happen if, in a different case, state officials called faithful Christians who seek to protect the religious freedom of Catholic adoption agencies “hate-mongers”?

In the United States District Court for the Western District of Michigan, it turns out that such rhetoric has cost the state a crucial court ruling, granted a Catholic adoption agency a vital victory, and demonstrated — once again — that anti-religious bigotry can (and should) carry substantial legal costs.

The case is called Buck v. Gordon. My friends at Becket represent St. Vincent Catholic Charities, a former foster child, and the adoptive parents of five special-needs kids. The facts are relatively complicated, but here’s the short version: St. Vincent upholds Catholic teaching by referring same-sex and unmarried families who seek foster and adoption recommendations and endorsements to agencies that have no objection to providing those services. There is no evidence that St. Vincent has prevented any legally qualified family from adopting or fostering a child. In fact, same-sex couples “certified through different agencies” have been able to adopt children in St. Vincent’s care.

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In 2015 the state of Michigan passed a statute specifically designed to protect the religious liberty of private, religious adoption agencies. In 2018, however, Dana Nessel, a Democratic attorney general, took office. During her campaign, she declared that she would not defend the 2015 law in court, stating that its “only purpose” was “discriminatory animus.” She also described proponents of the law as “hate-mongers,” and the court noted that she believed proponents of the law “disliked gay people more than they cared about the constitution.”

Then, in 2019, the attorney general reached a legal settlement in pending litigation with the ACLU that essentially gutted the Michigan law, implementing a definitive requirement that religious agencies provide recommendations and endorsement to same-sex couples and banning referrals. The plaintiffs sued, seeking to enjoin the relevant terms of the settlement, and yesterday Judge Robert Jonker (a Bush appointee) granted their motion for a preliminary injunction.

His reasoning was simple. There was ample evidence from the record that the state of Michigan reversed its policy protecting religious freedom because it was motivated by hostility to the plaintiffs’ faith. Because Michigan’s targeted St. Vincent’s faith, its 2019 settlement agreement couldn’t be truly considered a “neutral” law of “general applicability” that would grant the state a high degree of deference in enforcement.

Instead, the state’s targeting led to strict scrutiny. Here’s Judge Jonker:

Defendant Nessel made St. Vincent’s belief and practice a campaign issue by calling it hate. She made the 2015 statute a campaign issue by contending that the only purpose of the statute is discriminatory animus. After Defendant Nessel took office, the State pivoted 180 degrees. . . . The State also threatened to terminate its contracts with St. Vincent. The Summary Statement’s conclusion – that if an agency accepts even one MDHHS child referral for case management or adoption services, the agency forfeits completely the right to refer new parental applicants to other agencies based on its sincerely held religious beliefs – is at odds with the language of the contracts, with the 2015 law, and with established State practice. Moreover, it actually undermines the State’s stated goals of preventing discriminatory conduct and maximizing available placements for children.

The last point is key. As stated above, there was no evidence that St. Vincent prevented any qualified couple from adopting. In fact, if the state forced St. Vincent’s to choose between upholding the teachings of its faith or maintaining its contractual relationship with the state, then it risked shrinking the available foster or adoption options in the state of Michigan. The state demonstrated that it was more interested in taking punitive action against people of faith than it was in maintaining broader access to foster and adoption services for its most vulnerable citizens.

The judge rightly called the state’s actions a “targeted attack on a sincerely held religious belief.” Once again, Masterpiece Cakeshop pays religious-liberty dividends. Once again, a court declares — in no uncertain terms — that in the conflict between private faith and public bigotry, religious liberty will prevail.

SOURCE 






Australia: Do sharks have a right to eat us?

That seems to be the Queensland Labor government's position

FOR almost 60 years, the State Government's shark control program has been making Queensland beaches safer. The program has been one of very few public policies to have endured for such a time while remaining blessedly free from the foibles of partisan politics.

The reason for this has been simple. Who would dare argue with the results? From 1915 to 1962 there were 36 recorded cases of shark attacks in Queensland. These resulted in 19 deaths. But since the dragnet of baited drumlines was introduced in 1962, there's been only one fatal shark attack at a protected Queensland beach.

Little wonder the program has been gradually expanded. However, the program finally found a naysayer in the shape of fringe environmental group, the Humane Society. And inexplicably, the Federal Court has agreed with the group's view that the drumlines do little to protect swimmers.

How the court came to such a view simply beggars belief. Surely, they only had to look at the statistics of recent attacks in northern NSW where there are no permanent drumlines to realise how effective the Queensland program is? What was required here was a bipartisan approach and a plan to ensure swimmers were protected

The court's decision was clearly out of step with public sentiment and requires the politicians who've supported the program to fix it. Given the long history of bipartisan support, not to mention the implications for. Queensland's tourism industry, you'd like to think it would be a relatively quick fix.

However, what has ensued instead has been an unedifying display of pointless political point scoring that has done nothing but advertise to the world that some of the Sunshine State's most famous northern beaches are less safe now than they were a few weeks ago.

Much of the controversy has centred around the Department of Agriculture and Fisheries' decision to remove 160 drumlines from within the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park. The court's decision only related to the marine park zone and that's why the department only removed drumlines in this area.

Federal Environment Minister Sussan Ley has been particularly vocal. She's accused the Palaszczuk Government of choosing "public alarm over personal safety" by removing the drumlines when the court only said caught sharks should not be killed.

"Queensland should reinstate the existing drum lines, while increasing surveillance and exploring modern complementary technologies such as drones, smart drum lines and tags," she said.

There's ample reason for Ley to be sceptical about the Palaszczuk Government's motives in ordering the removal of the drumlines within hours of the court ruling. After all, the administration isn't exactly known for doing anything at pace.

And the States handling of last year's Cid Harbour shark attacks —when it first said drumlines were the answer but then recanted and claimed all it could do was erect signs instead — hardly inspired confidence.

However, what on Earth is Ley suggesting when she says the State Government should just drop the drumlines back in and increase surveillance? Is she saying to hell with what the court has ordered? Or does Ley reckon fisheries officers should just harden up and start arming themselves with a decent set of pliers so they can simply release the sharks?

It might be news to the minister but these officers are dealing with marine life a bit bigger than the cod they catch in the Murray River in her electorate. In fact, cutting a cranky 4m tiger shark loose from a hook is nearly as dangerous as getting between Ley and a bargain Gold Coast apartment buy, something she's somewhat famed for.

Yet, while Ley is happily ordering fisheries officers back into the water, the Morrison Government hasn't come up with a timeline for a legislative fix to what the court has ordered.

The LNP Opposition might be right when they say SMART drumlines, where sharks are caught and released,should be considered as temporary solution. However, it would take time to train officers and whether that's worthwhile depends primarily on how long it's going to take their federal colleagues to come up with a legislative answer.

Dropping in new drumlines at 17 locations just outside the marine park was a prudent move by the State but that still leaves 27 beaches no longer with protection.

However, what wasn't needed was State Fisheries Minister Mark Furner's ham-fisted suggestion that Ley would be blamed if there was an attack.

While the politicians squabble, the reputation of Queensland beaches is taking a further battering, the last thing the tourism industry needs after those terrible Cid Harbour attacks.

From the start, what was required here was a bipartisan approach and a plan to ensure swimmers were protected by drumlines again as soon as practical. Instead what happened was the political sharks began circling as soon as they saw an opportunity for a cheap feed.

"Courier Mail" 27 Sept. 2019

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Political correctness is most pervasive in universities and colleges but I rarely report the  incidents concerned here as I have a separate blog for educational matters.

American "liberals" often deny being Leftists and say that they are very different from the Communist rulers of  other countries.  The only real difference, however, is how much power they have.  In America, their power is limited by democracy.  To see what they WOULD be like with more power, look at where they ARE already  very powerful: in America's educational system -- particularly in the universities and colleges.  They show there the same respect for free-speech and political diversity that Stalin did:  None.  So look to the colleges to see  what the whole country would be like if "liberals" had their way.  It would be a dictatorship.

For more postings from me, see TONGUE-TIED, GREENIE WATCH,   EDUCATION WATCH INTERNATIONAL, AUSTRALIAN POLITICS and  DISSECTING LEFTISM.   My Home Pages are here or   here or   here.  Email me (John Ray) here.  Email me (John Ray) here

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Broward Election Chief Brenda Snipes Likely To Be Forced From Office   

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Broward County election chief Brenda Snipes is in hot water and will likely be forced from office by Florida Gov. Scott or his probable successor, Ron DeSantis, as statewide recounts for U.S. Senate, governor, and agriculture commission races for the 2018 midterm elections have turned messy, sources told Politico. Sen. Marco Rubio: “She has shown she’s […]

          

Business Systems Analyst - SAP ACM   

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MN-Inver Grove Heights, Genesis10 is seeking a Business Systems Analyst - SAP ACM for a contract position with our client in Inver Grove Heights, MN. Summary: Our client is seeking a Business Analyst to join our growing Information Technology Department. We are looking for an experienced Business Analyst to support our SAP Agriculture Contract Management (ACM) module. You must have excellent communication skills, both ve

          

Economical Agriculture Sprayer-THEA 160 Hexacopter   

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Today I would like to introduce an economical agriculture sprayer – THEA 160, which will meet the needs of efficient and accurate operation.

THEA 160 is a battery-powered agriculture hexacopter, compared with the THEA 130, the pesticide tank capacity and spray width of THEA 160 have been greatly improved to meet the operational needs of users in different industries. THEA 160 pesticide tank is 16L, the spray width is 5-7 meters, the operation efficiency of THEA 160 is about 1.82-3.3acre per flight.

(Note: The working efficiency in one hour may be different due to the different proficiency of operators and the different distribution speed of pesticide on the ground.)

THEA 160 adopts the Cutting-edge industry materials, features high temperature resistance, corrosion resistance and longer service life; the fold-able design makes it convenient for transportation; supports expansion function like mist sprayer, seeding module etc. The THEA 160 is equipped with a microwave fixed-height radar, which can realize terrain following function, and can be applied in variety of environments and terrains, like fields, crops, forests and orchards etc. In addition, THEA 160 agriculture sprayer can achieve full-autonomous flight, AB point flight, Continue to fly at breakpoints and other functions.

 

Multiple Configurations-Meet the complex farmland environment operation requirements

In the actual plant protection operation, every sprayer operator will encounter problems like  irregular shape of the field, the terrain is uneven, there are obstacles in the field, or the take-off and landing area is not suitable etc. The THEA 160 can display the real-time data to monitor the flight status and ensure a safe flight. Thea 160 can also provide terrain following and autonomous obstacle avoidance functions to ensure the safety of the drone. In addition, the THEA 160 also retains a variety of manual modes, which allows pilot to switch at any time during the operation to adapt to complex operating environments.

 

 

Radar, FPV camera and searchlight- Safer and more autonomous operation

THEA 160 is equipped with a millimeter-wave obstacle-avoidance radar, when performing autonomous flight, the radar can detect the obstacles in front and automatically stop at a set distance to ensure safe operation.


In addition, the THEA 160 is also equipped with an FPV camera and a searchlight. The FPV camera can transmit the image in front of the drone to the remote controller in real time. When the THEA 160 is stopped due to the obstacle, it can be remoted to avoid the obstacle referring to the image and the staff doesn’t need to go to the scene, and the searchlight can be used for illumination in low light situations, that makes the operation more safe.

Good penetration, Efficient operation

THEA 160 has a simple structure, small volume and low consumption, uniform and stable in the wind field. It is good to spray pesticides on the surface of the whole crop to better exert its effects! The down-wind-pressure field is uniform, stable and penetrable, which can spray the pesticide to the crop surface and display a better pesticide effect .

 

Classical Series , Full-featured

THEA 160 and THEA 130 are two important products of the THEA series agriculture sprayers. Both of them fully consider the actual operation requirements in terms of functions, and maintain the same pace to meet the increasingly diverse operational needs of the industry users:


1. Support "GPS, GLONASS and BeiDou satellite navigation System" to improve flight reliability.


2. Real-time monitor the battery capacity, support low-voltage voice alarm


3. Real-time monitor the amount of pesticides. When there is no pesticide in the tank, the ground station supports voice alarm.


4. Microwave fixed-height radar, support terrain following flight


5.Android mobile phone ground station, easy to use


6.PC ground station, full voice broadcast


7. Real-time data display, monitor the flight status


8. Support route planning, automatic flight operation


9. Support AB point flight


10. Support one-button take-off and landing, greatly improve the safety


11. Provide high pressure ceramic nozzle, adjustable spray speed and even spraying


12. Support breakpoints and continue spraying, support automatic return while without pesticides or at low voltage.


13. Support irregular land planning


14. Support set obstacle points, plan routes to avoid obstacle areas


15. Support setting alternate landing sites to facilitate large-scale land operations


16. Support mist sprayer, seeding module, multi-purpose drone, controllable cost, and low investment.

 

THEA 130 and THEA 160 Agriculture Sprayer are now released! The pesticide tank is 10L and 16L respectively. The maximum working efficiency per flight is15 mu and 20 mu respectively, and the functions of autonomous flight, fixed height and imitating flight are carried out. Both of them fully consider the needs of the actual operation, can meet the

complex farmland environment operation requirements. Welcome plant protection users to consult and buy! Welcome to consult and purchase!

For Purchase and details please contact: carrie@foxtechfpv.com


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